I want another baby.
But I don't think so, not really. The body speaks in foreign language; strange notes humming from cell and limb, rational thought sung aside. The instinct overrides the mind. Intuition, blind, has turned fantasy. The urge is a ticking bomb, an overwhelming explosion of now or never, do or die. Except I won't die, I'll simply have one child, one beautiful little girl.
There are others, my age, expecting another. How beautiful. No envy on my part, only feelings of failure; because I know what's in store. How could my brain be so cruel?
My heart feels something else; that it would be different next time. An elective cesarean; the surest deflection of trauma. I would breast feed again, I would co-sleep again; but not for as long. I would be more relaxed about nap times and bed times, and watching television. I would baby wear and baby-led wean (again). I would look after myself, take the medication, remember my needs. I would not sacrifice myself on the alter of babyhood, dissolving into a thousand undefined atoms.
But my head remembers. The difficult pregnancy; the ante natal depression. Exhausted and alone. The first two years buried under thick quilt of trauma; stratospheric anxiety, nightmares in the sun. The sleep deprivation. Teething. Nappies. Isolated; inside a bubble. The pressure to socialise; the judgement for not. Anger. Tears. Self absorption. The whispers behind my back... she's not well, she's acting strange, she's not coping, she's so demanding. The intolerance of emotional ill health. The fall out. The pain. The exclusion. How could I dare to repeat that again? Certainly not for Little A.
I can't decide whether I am weak in body, or fiercely strong in honesty.
I look in the mirror and I do see resilience, that I am made new in motherhood; just sometimes I feel too light, a flimsy cotton night shirt.
I want to hold a baby again. My baby. To stroke, caress, to breath in her fragrance; to not have post natal illness blight those first years. That's the reason behind my desire. To do it right next time. Not to fail. To feel like a normal mum...